THE BETSY HOTEL CELEBRATES WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH – MARCH 2022
Reported by: Staff
The Betsy-South Beach is proud of its historical, contemporary and inclusive celebrations of women’s voices, talents, vision, and excellence in programming that embraces trans and cis women, nonbinary, intersex, and other gender-expansive communities. The Betsy’s original Ocean Drive building is named for Betsy Ross, and the Hotel is home to a women’s poetry collective called SWWIM – Supporting Women Writers in Miami. The Betsy and SWWIM host 8 poetry readings and residencies annually, and together have hosted fifty women’s poetry programs in 5 years.
Join at The Betsy on March 16, 2022 at 7:30 PM for a poetry reading featuring visiting poet
Melissa Studdard and Miami-based poet Victoria Sanz. RSVP: https://bit.ly/3psYBob
Meet visiting poet Melissa Studdard at The Betsy on March 17, 2022, from 5– 6 pm.
RSVP https://bit.ly/3M76Wro Events will also be LIVE streamed.
Continuing The Betsy’s Women’s Month celebration, on March 17th The Betsy hosts legendary jazz vocalist and the first lady of Miami Jazz, Carole Ann Taylor for two sets (7– PM) accompanied by pianist Brian Murphy in the Betsy lobby. Sharing her love of jazz, and a lifetime in the business, Carole Ann TAYLOR delivers a traditional jazz performance that keeps audiences coming back for more. At 9:15, guests will be entertained with an opera pop-up featuring alumne of the Miami Beach Classical Music Festival which is another one of The Betsy’s in-house arts organizations.
During Women’s History Month 2022, The Betsy Writer’s Room (https://bit.ly/3x84DLX), will host 4 artists in partnership with community partners: Jewish Book Council/Miami Beach JCC, YoungArts Foundation, the Academy of American Poets, and the Women Photographer’s International Archive, working in these disciplines: Memoir, Poetry, Young Adult Literature LGBTQ literature, and Photography. Featured artists: Qian Julie Wang, Molly Horan, Chet’la Sebree, and Nadia Huggins.
Of Special Note: In 1972, The Betsy Ross Hotel was the headquarters for the National Organization for Women during the Democratic National Convention, hosting a coalition of women who wanted to create an equal playing field for women, including Gloria Steinem, Betty Friedan, Shirley Chisholm, Bella Abzug, and Shirley McClaine. Also present was Carole Ann Taylor, local jazz performing legend who still performs at The Betsy Hotel and is the 2022 co-producer of the Betsy’s 2022 10th anniversary Overture to Overtown Jazz Festival, where she will appear with Danny Mixon on May 1.
About Supporting Women Writers in Miami (SWWIM)
SWWIM makes its home at The Betsy hotel. Together, SWWIM and The Betsy Hotel have presented almost 50 poetry readings in five years of partnership. SWWIM (Supporting Women Writers in Miami) was co-founded by poets Jen Karetnick and Catherine Esposito Prescott. SWWIM publishes, promotes, and celebrates women writers, trans and cis women, nonbinary, intersex, and other gender-expansive communities, with a year-round reading series held at The Betsy-South Beach and the online poetry journal SWWIM Every Day.
FEATURED SWIMM Poets for Women’s History Month
Melissa Studdard is the author of two poetry collections, I Ate the Cosmos for Breakfast, and Dear Selection Committee (forthcoming May 2022), as well as the chapbook Like a Bird with a Thousand Wings. Her awards include The Penn Review Poetry Prize, the Tom Howard Prize from Winning Writers, Poetry Society of America’s Lucille Medwick Memorial Award, the and REEL Poetry Festival Audience Choice Award.
Victoria Sanz received her MFA in poetry from NYU, and holds degrees in Creative Writing and American Sign Language. She is a mother, poet, and educator. Viki lives and works in Miami. Some of her poems can be found in Smoking Glue Gun, Phantom Limb, and Columbia Poetry Review.
ABOUT THE BETSY WRITERS ROOM, Artist Residency Program
Since its inception in 2012, The Betsy Writer’s Room (https://bit.ly/3x84DLX), a space that pays homage to the late poet Hyam Plutzik a 3-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize (and father of Betsy Hotel owner, Jonathan Plutzik) has hosted over 1000 visiting artists, including Poet Laureates, MacArthur Genius Winners, National Book Award Winners, Inaugural Poets, as well as other creatives who participate in Betsy community outreach programming during their stay.
MARCH 2022 WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH ARTISTS IN RESIDENCE
PHOTOGRAPHY: Nadia Huggins (Feb 26-March 5) was born in 1984 in Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. She now resides in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Nadia Huggins is a self-taught photographer and graphic designer who has worked extensively throughout the Caribbean. Nadia was awarded her residency by the Women Photographer’s International Archive and Lesley Goldwasser, Co-owner of The Betsy Hotel who is also The Betsy’s curator of Visual Arts Programs.
MEMOIR: QIAN JULIE WANG (March 7-9) is a graduate of Yale Law School and Swarthmore College. Formerly a commercial litigator, she is now managing partner of Gottlieb & Wang LLP, a firm dedicated to advocating for education and civil rights. Her writing has appeared in major publications such as the New York Times and the Washington Post. She is in Miami, hosted in The Writers Room at The Betsy Hotel to talk about her new book, Beautiful County, which is about growing up poor in America with undocumented status. The Betsy is proud to be a community sponsor of Ms. Wang's meet the artist event for International Women's Day at the Miami Beach Jewish Community Center, located at 4221 Pine Tree Drive Miami Beach. on March 8 @ 7:30 PM.
YA LGBTQ Literature: Molly Horan (March 20-27) is an accomplished alumna of the YoungArts Program. She received her MFA in writing for children and young adults from the New School. She currently works as an associate editor of digital innovation at Refinery29, where she has written about the inter between online fandoms and LGBT activism, body positivity, and the evolution of viral web content. She has taught at Fordham University, focusing on LGBT YA literature. Her new book, Epically Ernest, is a delightfully romantic LGBTQ+ comedy-of-errors inspired by Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. The purpose of YoungArts' Alumni Residencies, created in partnership with The Betsy Writers Room, is to empower the very best YA Alumni to focus on creating new work.
POETRY: Chet'la Sebree, (March 28 – April 3) is the author of Field Study (2021), winner of the 2020 Academy of American Poets James Laughlin Award, the biggest prize for a second book in this country, and Mistress (2019), which was nominated for an NAACP Image Award and won the 2018 New Issues Poetry Prize. Chet'la is in residency at The Betsy in partnership with The Academy of American Poets, a longtime National partner - with the express purpose of having solitary time to focus on new work. The Betsy provides a residency annually to the winner of the AAP Laughlin Prize. (an event for this poet is pending with O, Miami and Supporting Women Writers in Miami).
ABOUT JAZZ VOCALIST CAROLE ANN TAYLOR
Carole Ann Taylor is a skillful interpreter of other people's songs, she turns classic tunes like "You Can Have Him" by Nina Simone and "For All We Know" by Nat King Cole into poignant renditions, enriched by her own musical expression. "I am basically a singer of jazz standards," says Taylor. "I evoke another time when people sat in clubs and listened to music." But the nostalgia stops there. In contrast to her role as a soul singer, Taylor is progressive in her personal experiences. The balance between conviction and experimentation in her jazz singing voice is a natural extension of her speaking voice. And yet there is so much more. As a mother, a Miami business owner, and a jazz icon. She keeps moving forward, with initiatives that include serving as a board member of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, Multicultural Tourism Committee Chair of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau, WDNA Jazz Radio and Viernes Culturales. Carole Ann Taylor appears Third Thursdays every month at The Betsy Hotel, from 7 to 9 PM.
ABOUT THE BETSY HOTEL
The Betsy Hotel is a family-owned and operated boutique luxury hotel anchoring the quiet end of iconic Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. A beachfront gem honored by Travel + Leisure as one of the best hotels in the world, The Betsy’s exquisitely designed inside and outside spaces play host to rotating art and photography exhibitions across nine public galleries, live jazz nine times a week, an artist residency program, classical music pop-ups, a large library, and curated in-room book collections. Special design touches include a rooftop pool with 360-degree views suspended in mid-air, an orb-shaped sky bridge (hailed as a groundbreaking piece of Miami Beach public art), a sculptural Poetry Rail honoring wordsmiths from Langston Hughes to Muhammad Ali, and special projects like TransArt and Escribe Aqui/Write Here that celebrate community through the arts. The Betsy’s Overture to Overtown Jazz Festival celebrates 10 years in April 2002, with 30 days of jazz and a public celebration on May 1, featuring virtuoso pianist, Danny Mixon. The Betsy Hotel, owned and operated by the Plutzik Goldwasser Family, is located at 1440 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach, in the heart of the Art Deco District. www.thebetsyhotel.com
Photo credit: The Betsy Hotel